New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday stressed on the concept of ‘waste to wealth’ and said focus should be on to reuse and recycle resources.
He also hailed the role of safai mitras and sanitation workers in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, saying they continuously rendered their services.
The government is committed to ensure that life of no sanitation worker is put at risk due to unsafe cleaning practices, Kovind said at an event where he presented the ‘Swachh Survekshan Awards 2021’. The event was organized by the housing and urban affairs ministry.
Kovind said that this year’s awards have special significance because the country is celebrating ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ to commemorate 75 years of independence. ”Mahatma Gandhi used to say that cleanliness is next to godliness. According to him cleanliness should be the top priority,” he said.
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This priority of Gandhiji has been carried forward by the government of India as a mass movement through the Swachh Bharat Mission, Kovind said. ”Our efforts to make the country completely neat and clean are a true tribute to our freedom fighters,” he said.
The president also appreciated the ‘Safai Mitra Suraksha Challenge’ initiative of the ministry that has been started in 246 cities with the aim to promote mechanical cleaning of sewers and septic tanks. Kovind advised the ministry to extend mechanical cleaning facility in all cities and said that manual scavenging is a shameful practice. Effective management of solid waste is essential to keep cities clean, he said. Kovind said that environment conservation has been an integral part of the traditional lifestyle of India.
”Today whole world is emphasising on environment protection in which focus is on to reduce, reuse and recycle the resources. Good examples are coming out of the idea of ‘Waste to Wealth’ and many start-ups are active in these areas,” he said.
The president added that appropriate schemes could be developed to encourage entrepreneurship and investment in these areas.